I have been a habitual drinker of diet pop (or soda, for everyone not from Pittsburgh) for a long, long time; probably since high school. I’m that person who will go through a drive-thru just to get a Diet Coke. I have never been a coffee drinker, so my Diet Coke fixes have long been my only source of caffeine, and some afternoons I just need it to power through. However, I recently began reading a lot of articles relating to the effects of aspartame and a little over a month ago decided that I wanted to curb how much diet pop I have been drinking. Making that resolution meant I needed a way to get a little caffeine into my system when I need it. I went back to an iced coffee recipe that I saw a couple of years ago and thought I might just like it… given the sweetened condensed milk and half-and-half. Turns out, with sweet, creamy additions, even the coffee-averse can create an iced coffee drink that they love!
This recipe is incredibly easy to make and takes virtually no time at all to prepare. Coffee grounds are steeped in water overnight, then strained through cheesecloth (or a coffee filter!) into a clean container. The coffee concentrate is chilled, then when you’re ready for a glass of iced coffee, simply fill your glass with ice, fill it up to three-quarters full of the chilled coffee and add in your sweeteners. I couldn’t resist the couple tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk and a big splash of half-and-half. For someone who has never been a big fan of the taste of coffee, this was the perfect combination. It gave the coffee a sweet, creamy flavor that I loved.
I’m thrilled to have a cold drink with a little jolt of caffeine that I can enjoy in place of my Diet Coke habit; this is perfect for my transition to less pop, as well as the upcoming warm weather.
(Don’t forget to leave some room at the top of the glass for whipped cream!)
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A simple recipe for making iced coffee at home.
8 ounces ground coffee
4 quarts cold water
Sweeteners as desired (sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, syrups, etc.)
1. Place the coffee grounds in a large food-safe container and add the cold water. Mix with a large spoon, then cover and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.
2. Strain the mixture into a clean container through a fine-mesh sieve that has been lined with two layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters. Discard the coffee grounds. Chill mixture until ready to use.
3. To make the iced coffee, fill a glass with ice and fill it two-thirds full of the chilled coffee concentrate. Sweeten as desired. (I made mine with 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and an additional splash of half-and-half.)